Is the Tesla Cybertruck the Future of Law Enforcement?

2024 tesla cybertruck police pickup
Is the Cybertruck the Future of Law Enforcement?UP.FIT
  • Tesla fleet specialist UP.FIT reveals police package offered for the Cybertruck, aimed at law enforcement, military, and search and rescue missions.

  • The Cybertruck can be configured with various hardware, including a prisoner transport cage or a canine enclosure, in addition to the usual electronics that police cars carry.

  • Electric pickup trucks and SUVs could be well suited for police duties in the future, offering quick acceleration, roomy interiors, space, and power for computers and radios, while working in a relatively confined geographical area with predictable mileages.

We knew it was only a matter of time before our Paul Verhoeven reality would see the Tesla Cybertruck appear menacingly in the rear-view mirror. And that time appears to be close.


This nation's love for angry-looking pickups with dystopian design—and the creeping militarization of police forces with Iraq-war surplus machinery—has finally produced something out of a 1980s sci-fi film. And we can almost see the intro text scroll.

"The year is 2024 AD, and crime has a new enemy."

Dubbed the Tesla Cybertruck Patrol by Tesla fleet specialist UP.FIT, the base truck can now be customized for a variety of law enforcement, search and rescue, and military missions, offering a vast selection of interior equipment including computers, prisoner partitions, and K9 cages, along with upgraded wheels, tires, brakes, and optional off-road hardware.

The company, a division of Unplugged Performance, also plans to offer charging infrastructure, maintenance staff, driver training, and fleet management services to police departments eager to get the most out of the new trucks.

There is no mention of options like armored panels under the skin or ballistic glass, (which would be heavy, tricky, and expensive items to add), but there are various police-owned MRAPs already doing that job. So we probably won't see SWAT teams using Cybertrucks in particularly hairy situations, because they already have something heavier.

But for the usual patrol duties that are increasingly performed by police pickups, it could be just the thing, once equipped with the usual goodies: a lightbar, siren, and PA system, a few strobes in key places, and police livery.

2024 tesla cybertruck police pickup
Electric pickups and SUVs could ultimately be embraced by police departments for a variety of reasons, even though the Cybertruck may not immediately seem like a likely candidate for fleets. UP.FIT

But are police departments ready to go electric? We think there are actually some logical reasons in favor of large EVs.

First, police cars generally don't need to exceed the maximum range of the Cybertruck during most shifts, so even in single-motor RWD flavor the 250-mile range is not an issue, and they can recharge at night at their depots. Although, savvy criminals might recognize that high-speed chases are best kept for late in the shift, hoping the pursuing Cybertruck runs out of electrons.

Second, electric vehicles are idle-friendly and can support lots of onboard electronics that police departments use.

Third, quick acceleration and stealth is certainly valued in police vehicles, so even though you'll be able to see this thing from a mile away, it can still creep up quietly unlike the Crown Vics that had a notable whine to their transmissions and other memorable tire, exhaust, and acceleration noises. So there's a lot to like in the electric performance category.

Fourth, state ZEV incentives in most jurisdictions should make it easy for municipalities to justify purchasing EVs in the future, or even today.

Finally, if we've learned one thing over the past two decades it's that police departments (unlike school districts) can afford just about anything on four wheels, so the truck's price shouldn't be an issue.

All the hardware that goes inside Ford Explorers today is already expensive, and the Cybertruck's base price is not wildly higher than that of a police-spec Ford F-150 at the end of the day.

In fact, we'll probably see Ford F-150 Lightnings in police use before we see Cybertrucks, so don't be surprised when a Ford truck whooshes silently to 60 mph in four seconds flat with a lightbar on the roof.

But can Cybertrucks actually become commonplace in police fleets?

With the Cybertruck it's hard to tell, if only because Tesla isn't making a lot of these at the moment.

2024 tesla cybertruck police pickup
The interior of the Cybertruck can be configured for a variety of mission profiles.UP.FIT

Deliveries began in 2023, but a recall a few months ago revealed that the Austin-based automaker isn't exactly cranking these out day and night, just as concerns regarding overall EV demand have captured the auto industry's attention.

But this is the part where fleet sales can really rescue a vehicle model even if demand from private buyers begins to drop off after the first couple of years, which is a common phenomenon with, ahem, novelty vehicles with a unique look.

The rarely remembered Robocop: The Series from 1994 had Detroit Police Hummers in gray colors, and that's only because the Cybertruck was not available at the time. Otherwise it would have fit right into that aesthetic.

We're probably still some time away before tens of thousands of Cybertrucks are on the roads. Despite its unique aesthetics (or because of them), it could end up being embraced by police departments in the near future.

Does the Cybertruck have potential to become a popular vehicle for police fleets, or are there some factors that might discourage its usage in police departments? Let us know what you think in the comments.